The catastrophe left some 180 dead and a landscape of neighborhoods destroyed by the waters, especially in the Ahr valley, in its region
The German Greens accepted the first resignation in the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz since the formation of that tripartite, in December, between Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals. The Minister of the Family, Anne Spiegel, threw in the towel, after apologizing for the four weeks of vacation that she took, in 2021, in full impact by the catastrophic floods of her “Land” of her, Rhineland Palatinate.
Spiegel was then head of Regional Environment and, as she explained on Sunday night, she did not give up on that long-planned family vacation because her husband, who had recently suffered a heart attack, “couldn’t take it anymore.” The 41-year-old minister also recalled her status as the mother of four children. She did it in a hasty appearance, in which she struggled to find the precise words and with a broken voice.
The public apology was not enough for him. The conservative opposition continued to demand his resignation and among the Greens the impatience to settle the issue was beginning to show. The explanation on Sunday, at 9:00 p.m., was followed by a statement on Monday announcing his decision to resign “due to political pressure” and to “avoid damage to the position.”
Spiegel was already questioned for not having lived up to what her position required in managing the devastating floods suffered by the Rhineland Palatinate and the neighboring “Land” of North Rhine-Westphalia. The catastrophe left about 180 dead and a landscape of neighborhoods destroyed by the waters, especially in the Ahr valley, in her region. Ten days later, with the debris still underway, she went on vacation.
His withdrawal follows the resignation, last week, of his colleague from the neighboring “Land”, the conservative Ursula Heinen Esser, who left her post as regional minister for the environment for having gone to Mallorca to celebrate a birthday, also while her region lived that catastrophic situation.
The pressure on Spiegel was capitalized this Monday. The Greens are experiencing a moment of great appreciation among citizens for the good management of the two “star” ministers of the Scholz government, the Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, and the Economy and Climate Minister, Robert Habeck.
Baerbock, in office since last December, has had a real revalidation at the Foreign Affairs front, in the midst of the war in Ukraine. She is an omnipresent minister, nationally and internationally, who tends to take the initiative, while the chancellor is seen to be still lethargic.
Habeck, with the rank of deputy chancellor, has the complex task of seeking remedies for Germany’s energy dependence on Russia, a mortgage inherited from decades of concessions to Vladimir Putin, first by the Social Democrat Gerhard Schröder and then by the conservative Angela Merkel.
It is up to the now green superminister to negotiate with new undesirable partners for an environmentalist, including Qatar, and at the same time fight for the deadlines for the definitive goodbye this 2022 to atomic energy, the hallmark of his party, to be respected.
It was up to the Greens to settle the matter, since each party appoints the ministers of the German coalition, in this case between Social Democrats, environmentalists and liberals.
“Chancellor Olaf Scholz accepts the decision of the Family Minister with great respect. He has worked with Anne Spiegel closely and with great confidence. He was personally moved by his minister’s statement on Monday. He wishes him luck in these difficult times », a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said in a brief statement.
«Anne Spiegel has admitted mistakes with an unusual transparency in politics that deserves all respect. However, her resignation is the right decision », said the leader of The Greens, Omir Nouripur.
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